Winter Vignette

Snow is whipping horizontally past the window, pausing occasionally to pirouette in graceful swirls before streaming on by. Shades of grey blending to white speak a chill into my bones even as I sit cradling my morning mug of coffee. It is the knife edge of winter. Calendars declare winter to be a two day old child; the storm shouts I am a man!

It is warm within. The soft hum of furnace fan comforts with a gentle stirring of life sustaining heat. The coffee pot is almost full; Christmas goodies in abundance wait on the shelf.

It has not been that long a time since even royalty were not as favored or as comfortable as this. Constant warmth, comfortable beds, and blessing above blessings, indoor plumbing have made life move past endurable to grace and ease.

Slowly, family members stir from their beds adding music and clatter to the scene. Preparations in anticipation of celebrations add to the atmosphere’s glow. What a treasure to be part of and accepted into a caring family.

So blow, Wind. Do your dance, Snow. Deep in my heart a song of thanksgiving rises. I am most blessed among women.

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Music on the Wind

Some of the most brilliant of God’s gems are hidden from public view; they are seldom found scattered around in the dust like old bottle caps or discarded beer cans, today’s equivalent of pottery shards at an archaeological dig. One of those almost hidden ones is Eddie Askew

Eddie’s life work has been with The Leprosy Mission in India, an assignment to put stars in most anyone’s crown. What has endeared him to me is another facet of that gem: his creative side which includes writing, poetry and art. Close to one million of his little meditations and books are in print, with the proceeds going to the support of the Mission, and yet few Christians, and fewer still of the secular world know anything about the man.

His meditations are not wordy, but see truth and beauty intertwined. A man of gentle spirit, he paints as well with brush and watercolor as with words. Some meditations are followed by interspersed poems which enlarge on the topic and penetrate soul barriers to go straight to the heart.

Here is a sample taken from “Music on the Wind,” a series of meditations on the life of David. Following a short discussion of Saul’s armor as being a hindrance to David he penned this:

You are on the edge, Lord, of my world,
not in the centre as you should be.
I’d like you there with me,
but I’m not ready yet
to open up and let you in.
Your foot is in the door,
that’s fine.
I feel I’m in control,
can open it, or close it
as I choose.
But more than that seems dangerous.
I build defences.
Stay close-bound
inside a hard defensive shell
of spurious security.
And lobster-like,
close carapaced within my fear,
wave warning claws
against your loving hands.

Not only you, Lord,
distanced by my doubt,
I hide from others too.
Show only what I think they want to see
and grudgingly at that.
Can’t find the openness
to share the truth with them.

And when I change direction,
look inside,
it’s me I’m hiding from as well.

Lord, keep on knocking,
and let the probing fingers of your love
open the door a little more.
There’s just a chance,
one day,
I’ll really let you in
and find the will
to show myself to you,
to them and even to myself
just as I am.
Accept the freedom that you give
to be myself
and build on it with you.

Some of his works are available at Alibris